ATHENS — Georgia football sacks leader D’Andre Walker is back in Athens recovering from the sports hernia surgery he underwent on Wednesday (Jan. 23) at Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala.
Walker hopes to be recovered in time to put on a show for NFL scouts at the Bulldogs’ Pro Day workout, which is tentatively scheduled for March. 20.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound outside linebacker will attend the NFL combine in Indianapolis where he’ll undergo a physical and interview with teams, but he won’t be able to compete in drill work.
Walker suffered what was believed to be a groin injury early in the second half of the Bulldogs’ SEC Championship Game against Alabama with Georgia leading 28-21.
To that point, the Fairburn product had wreaked havoc on the Tide backfield with a quarterback sack, two QB hurries, five tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.
“It just gave out, all at once, he couldn’t go,” UGA teammate Jonathan Ledbetter said. “D’Andre’s such a competitor, man, we all knew he wanted to be out there.”
Alabama quarterbacks broke contain once Walker left the game, having more time to pass en route to the 35-28 win.
Walker attempted to practice once the Bulldogs arrived in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, but he was limited in the drills.
Defiantly, Walker suited up for the game, even though he knew the injury would prevent him from being effective and playing.
Andy Collins, Walker’s agent, said the former Georgia star was working out in Fort Worth, Texas, with hopes of getting healthy in time to compete in the Senior Bowl alongside Ledbetter and long snapper Nick Moore.
“But it just wasn’t getting better, so (Jan. 17) he went to a doctor in Fort Worth and got an MRI, and it turned out he had an underlying sports hernia,” Collins said. “We called the Senior Bowl and let them know, and then he got a second opinion in Birmingham last Tuesday and that led to surgery on Wednesday (Jan. 23).”
First-year Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who served as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks the previous five years, went to the uncharacteristic measure of singing Walker’s praises at a press conference last Monday even though the Georgia star wasn’t taking part in the practices or games.
“D’Andre was a guy, for me, going back to the scouting process at Seattle, you’re putting on tape last year watching (Davin) Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, and to me, 15 (Walker) should have been playing over both of those guys,” Nagy said.
“Every time he was on the field he was disruptive,” Nagy said. “If you did a per play disruption …. every time the guy stepped on the field, he was making something happen.”
Walker posted on social media that he has begun his rehabilitation process, and once healthy enough he’ll return to Fort Worth to elevate his workouts at the APEC world-class training facility.
Yesterday Surgery Was A Success First Day Rehab & Already Walking!!
G O D Speed pic.twitter.com/BLudBr2pU9
— D’Andre Walker (@DAndreWalker15) January 24, 2019